Blackhawks upend Sabres 7-3

The Sabres open their seven-game homestand with an ugly loss to Chicago

Pat Malacaro
February 01, 2019 - 7:09 pm

Photo: Adrian Kraus - Associated Press


Three goals in the second period helped pace the Chicago Blackhawks to a 7-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night at KeyBank Center.

Buffalo had an early power play chance after Erik Gustafsson shot the puck over the glass. However, the blue and gold did not score on their first man advantage of the game.

Chicago broke the scoreless tie with less than two minutes to go in the opening period when Drake Caggiula was able to slip behind the Sabres defense and backhand a shot home. Caggiula's eighth goal of the season gave the visitors a 1-0 lead over Buffalo. Gustav Forsling found the forward in front of the net with the pass and was credited with the lone assist on the goal.

Rasmus Ristolainen and Jonathan Toews were called for minor penalties after Ristolainen delivered a high hit on Patrick Kane. The two teams skated 4-on-4 for the remainder of the period.

Buffalo recorded 14 shots on goal in the opening frame, but Cam Ward was able to make 14 saves. Carter Hutton stopped six of the seven Blackhawks shots on goal as well.

Kane extended the Chicago lead to 2-0 just 50-seconds into the middle stanza on a partial breakaway. The South Buffalo native's 30th goal of the season was assisted by Gustafsson and Caggiula.

The fifth shot of the period for the visitors resulted in the third goal of the game. Duncan Keith finished off the scoring chance to make it 3-0 Chicago. It was the defenseman's second goal of the season. Alex DeBrincat and Kane assisted on the goal.

The Sabres' second power play of the game came when Artem Anisimov was penalized for tripping. However, again, the blue and gold failed to score on their extra man situation.

Jack Eichel was able to help create the first goal for the Sabres and cut the deficit to 3-1. The captain hustled to negate an icing and keep the play alive. Ristolainen took the shot from the blue line and was able to tip the shot home.

The Blackhawks' lead ballooned back to three goals, 4-1, when Brandon Saad recorded his 16th goal of the year with under a minute to go in the second period. He beat Hutton with the shot into the top corner of the goal.

That ended the night for Hutton, who gave up four goals on 22 shots faced. Linus Ullmark came in to start the third period for the Sabres.

The Sabres, once again, cut into the deficit, this time early in the third period to make it 4-2 Chicago. Jeff Skinner was able to chip the puck to the front of the net, where Jason Pominville used a backhand shot to beat Ward. Pominville's 11th of the year was assisted by Skinner and Zach Bogosian.

Less than four minutes later, Kyle Okposo buried a second chance opportunity while Buffalo was on the power play to trim the deficit to 4-3. Okposo's ninth goal of the season came with Connor Murphy in the penalty box for Chicago. Conor Sheary and Casey Mittelstadt assisted on the goal.

Murphy would atone for his penalty by scoring and extending the Chicago lead to 5-3. Then with an empty net Kane recorded his fourth point of the game, and second goal of the game to make it 6-3 Blackhawks. Saad would add his second goal of the game to cap the scoring for Chicago at 7-3.


Goal Summary:

First Period:

CHI: 18:38 - Drake Caggiula (8) (Gustav Forsling)

Second Period:

BUF: 18:05 - Jack Eichel (17) (Rasmus Ristolainen, Sam Reinhart)
CHI: 0:50 - Patrick Kane (30) (Erik Gustafsson, Drake Caggiula); 5:06 - Duncan Keith (2) (Alex DeBrincat, Patrick Kane); 19:39 - Brandon Saad (16) (David Kampf, Marcus Kruger)

Third Period:

BUF: 3:39 - Jason Pominville (11) (Jeff Skinner and Zach Bogosian); 7:16 - Kyle Okposo (9) PPG (Conor Sheary, Casey Mittelstadt)
CHI: 11:24 - Connor Murphy (2) (Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews); 17:13 - Patrick Kane (31) ENG (Drake Caggiula, Brent Seabrook); 19:22 - Brandon Saad (17) (unassisted)


Penalty Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 18:49 - Rasmus Ristolainen (Interference - 2 min.)
CHI: 1:15 - Erik Gustafsson (Delay of Game - 2 min); 18:49 - Jonathan Toews (Roughing - 2 min.)

Second Period:

BUF: 5:53 - Lawrence Pilut (Slashing - 2 min.); 20:00 - Tage Thompson (Interference - 2 min.)
CHI: 10:22 - Artem Anisimov (Tripping - 2 min.)

Third Period:

CHI: 5:44 - Connor Murphy (Hooking - 2 min.)

Shots on Goal:

BUF: 43 (14, 12, 17)
CHI: 30 (7, 15, 8)


BUF: Carter Hutton - 18 saves / Linus Ullmark - 5 saves
CHI: Cam Ward - 40 saves

Power Plays:

BUF: 1 for 3 (33.3%)
CHI: 0 for 2 (0%)

Three Stars:

  1. Patrick Kane - CHI
  2. Drake Caggiula - CHI
  3. Brandon Saad - CHI

What's next:

The blue and gold continue their homestand on Tuesday night with the Minnesota Wild coming to town. Buffalo and the Wild drop the puck at seven o'clock on the flagship home of the Sabres Radio Network - WGR Sports Radio 550. Pre-game coverage with Mike Schopp and the Bulldog begins at 6 p.m. from (716) Food and Sport. 

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